Ageing Without Fear – Elder Abuse as Family Violence discussion papers

One of the key results of the 2016 Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence was the recognition of elder abuse as family violence.  Nevertheless, the Royal Commission acknowledged that older people have specific needs within the family violence sector.

As the reforms continue to progress within Victoria and nationally, gaps remain on how best to integrate older people into family violence.

In order to build understanding between the two sectors, Seniors Rights Victoria has produced a suite of discussion papers on elder abuse as family violence, elder abuse and gender and preventing elder abuse.

  1. Elder Abuse as Family Violence explains how elder abuse is a form of family violence, and draws attention to its unique causes and characteristics.
  2. Elder Abuse, Gender and Sexuality explores the ways gender and sexual identity can affect an individual’s experience of elder abuse, mistreatment and disrespect. It also includes a discussion of the often under-recognised crime of sexual assault of older women.
  3. Preventing Elder Abuse describes activities that help prevent elder abuse from occurring, as well as actions that enable people to detect and respond to elder abuse in order to inhibit reoccurrences and prevent long-term harm.

The goal of the papers is to ultimately improve understanding and generate thoughts on best practice in preventing and responding to elder abuse.

The papers were launched at an event in May 2018 where a panel of professionals listened to the experiences of former Seniors Rights Victoria client Maria* before discussing some of the issues.

Panellists were:

  • Domestic Violence Victoria Policy Adviser Erin Davis
  • Pronio CEO Tina Douvos-Stathopoulos
  • Seniors Rights Victoria Policy Officer Melanie Joosten
  • Victoria Police Assistant Commissioner Dean McWhirter
  • Seniors Rights Victoria Elder Abuse Prevention Network Project Officer Alexia Huxley

Please note the personal details for Maria* were changed to protect her privacy.